Submitted to: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2010
Publication Date: 11/1/2010
Citation: Cao, J.J., Nielsen, F.H. 2010. Acid diet (high meat protein) effects on calcium metabolism and bone health. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 13(6):698-702.
Technical Abstract: Purpose of review: Update recent advancements regarding the effect of high animal protein on calcium utilization and bone health. Recent findings: Increased potential renal acid load resulting from a high protein (meat) intake has been closely associated with increased urinary calcium excretion. However, recent findings do not support the assumption that bone is lost to provide the extra calcium found in urine. Neither whole body calcium balance is, nor are bone status indicators, negatively affected by the increased acid load. Contrary to the supposed detrimental effect of protein, the majority epidemiological studies have shown long-term high protein intake increases bone mineral density and reduces bone fracture incidence. The beneficial effects of protein such as increasing intestinal calcium absorption and circulating IGF-I while lowering serum parathyroid hormone sufficiently offset any negative effects of the acid load of protein on bone health. Summary: Based on recent findings, consuming protein (including that from meat) higher than current Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is beneficial to calcium utilization and bone health, especially in the elderly. A balanced diet with adequate protein and calcium and foods that provide buffering anions, such as fruits and vegetables, are important to osteoporosis prevention.